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Within the past decade, the latter half especially, Finnish metal has developed a habit for the darkly bizzare and mind-bending ambience that can sound like anything from Wrathful Buddhas chanting in the Intermediate State to aliens making love on Klandaathu. This trend is primarily limited to black and doom metal, however, as the two genres are generally more inclined towards it due to their inherently atmospheric natures. Here are some top notch albums representative of this "movement," if it can be called that. Recommendations appreciated, but try to keep them confined to black and doom if you can.

Created by: Apothecary | 19.10.2013



1. Dark Buddha Rising - Abyssolute Transfinite
Eerie nightime drone with a dark ambient cloak, and a theme revolving around parts of the Tibetan Book Of The Dead. These Finns have taken doom to another level with their unique, keyboard-driven mark on the style, creating a mesmerizing sound that can only be described as something close to a religious experience. Very good for meditation.
2. Aarni - Bathos
The one man project of Markus Marjomaa, Bathos sends the listener on a twisting rollercoaster ride that can be described as nothing short of a psychedelic trip through R'lyeh. Lovecraftian-inspired doom with plenty of dreamlike effects, and a wide vocal range from Markus including cleans, growls, shrieks, and other inhuman blends of the three.
3. Oranssi Pazuzu - Kosmonument
Cosmic marijuana black metal... or something like that. Ten brain-tickling tracks of psychedelically laden BM with a huge layer of keyboard and synth effects, black hole guitar tones, and warm, almost funky bass lines. Not one to pass up, especially for fans of more experimental forms of music.
4. Circle Of Ouroborus - Eleven Fingers
A hazy blend of ambient black and post metal, with murky clean vocals buried in the background. You're not going to find shrieked vocals and blast beats here though; this album is more black metal in the sense of its atmosphere than actual musical delivery, and that's a big part of what makes it so interesting.
5. Candy Cane - Fay-Ra-Doowra
Your guess is as good as mine with this band. Avant garde one second, extreme metal the next, bastardized techno another, these Finns epitomize the growing shift towards the unconventional in their country's metal underground. The composition may seem messy for fans of simpler forms of metal, but if you're down for a bunch of schizophrenic mood changes, you'd do yourself a favor by giving this a peek.
6. Mörkö - Itsensänimeävä
Blackened doom with a mind of its own. Not as ambient as Dolorian get, nor as doom-y as the recent material from The Ruins Of Beverast. Mörkö skate the line between their fusion of styles quite well, and this release is chalk full of both harsh black metal moments and more relaxed doom passages, complete with the occasional psychedelic guitar and a highly audible bass that rumbles along throughout.
7. Tyranny - Tides Of Awakening
There'd be much more to complain about with Tyranny only releasing one full album in the 12 years since their inception if said album wasn't so goddamn fantastic. With five massive slabs of Lovecraft-influenced funeral doom, this album is a savage journey into the heart of unconscious fear and misery, and easily rivals some of the big names within the style at its best moments.
8. Wormphlegm - Tomb Of The Ancient King
Dismal, cold, and haunting, with monumental track lengths whose sheer impact can at points seem on par with the likes of Esoteric and Elysian Blaze. Not as atmospheric as Tyranny, but just as evil, if not more. Thanks to Joe for originally turning me onto this album.
9. Jumalhämärä - Resignaatio
One of those bands cloaked in a signature layer of depressing melancholy, Jumalhamara weave a delicate balance between a sad, delicate cry and malevolent, tortured screams. Slowly melodic and hypnotizing, but also groovy and aggressive at points as well, giving this album multiple shades of personality that keep it interesting.
10. Horse Latitudes - Gathering
Probably one of the less original bands on this list, unless you want to consider a band with two bassists and no guitarists original. No widdly diddly melodies are to be found here: simply distorted bass, drums, and effects combined to create an ethereal atmosphere of dark, hypnotizing doom. You know the type, and while Horse Latitudes' formula may not be the most creative among their Finnish contemporaries, their delivery of it is certainly well done.
11. Shape Of Despair - Shades Of...
More depressing funeral doom, so slow it could almost be moving backwards. Cloaked in a layer of intimidating ambience that feels intentionally disturbing and unnerving, and forces the listener to focus on the band's lyrical themes of the pain and desperation of the human condition.
12. Dolorian - Voidwards
One of the pioneers of blackened doom, this band's 2006 release is dark ambient as all hell. Drenched in an aura of mystery with cleverly-laid atmospheric effects, this is definitely one of those releases that feels as though it has some type of deep secret hidden behind the music, that only further escapes you the harder you try to understand it. But of course, that's just part of this album's inherent beauty.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Apothecary ]



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!J.O.O.E.! - 24.10.2013 at 14:28  
Need to check out the new Jumalhämärä. Lucas reviewed one of their records a few years back and gave it a less than great review. I tried it out anyway and was surprised as it was pretty good and interesting stuff.

I would suggest Demilich and Havoc. Unit but I'm guessing it wouldn't fit the theme and tone of the list.
Apothecary - 24.10.2013 at 15:07  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 24.10.2013 at 14:28

Need to check out the new Jumalhämärä. Lucas reviewed one of their records a few years back and gave it a less than great review. I tried it out anyway and was surprised as it was pretty good and interesting stuff.

I would suggest Demilich and Havoc. Unit but I'm guessing it wouldn't fit the theme and tone of the list.

As do I, but I haven't been able to find a download link for it anywhere unfortunately
It is indeed a bit difficult to add bands to this list because while there's definitely a presence of "strange Finnish metal," it's still limited, and just because a band is "atmospheric doom" or "ambient black" doesn't necessarily mean their style is really out there like the theme I'm trying to run with this. I'll check out those two you suggested, why would you say they're unfit though?
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.10.2013 at 15:42  
Strange how quite a few people call Shape Fo Despair depressing funeral doom when I find it to be totally uplifitng sun shiny light funeral doom.
I would have put Skepticism in that list instead of Shape Of Despair.
!J.O.O.E.! - 24.10.2013 at 15:47  
Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 15:07

As do I, but I haven't been able to find a download link for it anywhere unfortunately
It is indeed a bit difficult to add bands to this list because while there's definitely a presence of "strange Finnish metal," it's still limited, and just because a band is "atmospheric doom" or "ambient black" doesn't necessarily mean their style is really out there like the theme I'm trying to run with this. I'll check out those two you suggested, why would you say they're unfit though?

Well Demilich's 'Nespithe' is older than 10 years old; I got the impression you wanted this to be a more modern list. As for Havoc Unit, not sure blasting industrial death metal would really fit under the theme and dark and surreal.
Fritillaria - 24.10.2013 at 15:50  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.10.2013 at 15:42

Strange how quite a few people call Shape Fo Despair depressing funeral doom when I find it to be totally uplifitng sun shiny light funeral doom.

I think they have a ruling depressing feeling in all of their songs, in my opinion their sound is slow and at the same time dark and very sorrowful :/
Apothecary - 24.10.2013 at 16:39  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.10.2013 at 15:42

Strange how quite a few people call Shape Fo Despair depressing funeral doom when I find it to be totally uplifitng sun shiny light funeral doom.
I would have put Skepticism in that list instead of Shape Of Despair.

I've only listened to Shades Of... and Angels Of Distress, could you give an example of something of theirs you think is along these lines of "sun shiny light?" Will check out Skepticism too...
Apothecary - 24.10.2013 at 16:43  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 24.10.2013 at 15:47

I got the impression you wanted this to be a more modern list

I do, because for the most part this trend has really only come to blossom within the past 5-10 years.
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.10.2013 at 16:43  
Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 16:39


I've only listened to Shades Of... and Angels Of Distress, could you give an example of something of theirs you think is along these lines of "sun shiny light?"


to me all of Shape Of Despair's albums are "sun shiny light" not a single one is depressive. Way too beautiful sounding for that. It sounds like a fresh Spring day.
Fritillaria - 24.10.2013 at 16:53  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.10.2013 at 16:43

It sounds like a fresh Spring day.


although I always thought that fresh spring days are kinda accompanied with an amount of melancholy and sadness but I could never put them together with the sound of Shape of Despair

Shape of Despair for me sounds like a long dark tunnel with no sparks of light at the end of it with a marching funeral which is carrying a coffin through that tunnel :/
Apothecary - 24.10.2013 at 17:58  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.10.2013 at 16:43

to me all of Shape Of Despair's albums are "sun shiny light" not a single one is depressive. Way too beautiful sounding for that. It sounds like a fresh Spring day.

I guess I can kinda see where you're coming from, this track does indeed feel a bit more "warm" and inviting than your average funeral doom.
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.10.2013 at 18:08  
Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 17:58

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.10.2013 at 16:43

to me all of Shape Of Despair's albums are "sun shiny light" not a single one is depressive. Way too beautiful sounding for that. It sounds like a fresh Spring day.

I guess I can kinda see where you're coming from, this track does indeed feel a bit more "warm" and inviting than your average funeral doom.


and that's how I experience all fo their music, as warm and inviting. Good stuff, but really warm, comfy, accessible and inviting like Colosseum also is for me but unlike for instance Skepticism, Profettus, Tyranny, Wormphlegm, Night Must Fall, Stabat Mater,
Fritillaria - 24.10.2013 at 18:08  
Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 17:58


I guess I can kinda see where you're coming from, this track does indeed feel a bit more "warm" and inviting than your average funeral doom.

but does that really feel warm ? :/
Apothecary - 24.10.2013 at 18:26  
Written by Fritillaria on 24.10.2013 at 18:08

Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 17:58


I guess I can kinda see where you're coming from, this track does indeed feel a bit more "warm" and inviting than your average funeral doom.

but does that really feel warm ? :/

Compare that to this and you'll probably see what I mean.
Array - 24.10.2013 at 19:24  
Deimos III or Baxabaxaxaxaxabaxaxaxaxa! 666 Yndstr Draconis by Woods Of Belial might want to be on this list.
Fritillaria - 24.10.2013 at 21:35  
Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 18:26


Compare that to this and you'll probably see what I mean.


that song is amazing, still I can't see how Shape of Despair can be warm :/ anyway let go of it, maybe it's my perception of music
Apothecary - 24.10.2013 at 21:53  
Written by Array on 24.10.2013 at 19:24

Deimos III or Baxabaxaxaxaxabaxaxaxaxa! 666 Yndstr Draconis by Woods Of Belial might want to be on this list.

Hmmm... black doom, industrial doom, and funeral doom? Sounds interesting
Erik M. - 24.10.2013 at 22:31  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.10.2013 at 15:42

Strange how quite a few people call Shape Fo Despair depressing funeral doom when I find it to be totally uplifitng sun shiny light funeral doom.
I would have put Skepticism in that list instead of Shape Of Despair.


Well, there's a big difference between Shades Of... and Angels of Distress, with the former being way less light and more crushing than the latter. Angels of Distress is hands down the "lightest" and most accessible funeral doom I've ever heard... hell, I doubt it could even be called funeral doom. The debut is most definitely funeral doom though, but still much lighter and accessible than most funeral doom that I've heard.
Erik M. - 24.10.2013 at 22:45  
Written by Fritillaria on 24.10.2013 at 18:08

Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 17:58


I guess I can kinda see where you're coming from, this track does indeed feel a bit more "warm" and inviting than your average funeral doom.

but does that really feel warm ? :/


Yep, it really does feel warm. Listening to it now and this is way "warmer" than Shades Of... I have absolutely no problem with their debut being on this list, as it's way less light than Angels of Distress as I said in my previous comment.
Erik M. - 24.10.2013 at 22:46  
Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 18:26

Compare that to this and you'll probably see what I mean.


That album is way more death doom than funeral doom... I'd call it funeral death doom, but it leans a lot more to death doom than to funeral doom if you ask me. Quietus is more funeral doom and would be a better example of crushing funeral doom I think.
Array - 24.10.2013 at 23:55  
Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 21:53

Hmmm... black doom, industrial doom, and funeral doom? Sounds interesting

Yeah, the blackened/black thing is mostly for their first demo, not mentioned here. Baxaxa... is their most evil work.

*III -> XIII
Apothecary - 25.10.2013 at 00:23  
Written by Erik M. on 24.10.2013 at 22:46

Written by Apothecary on 24.10.2013 at 18:26

Compare that to this and you'll probably see what I mean.


That album is way more death doom than funeral doom... I'd call it funeral death doom, but it leans a lot more to death doom than to funeral doom if you ask me. Quietus is more funeral doom and would be a better example of crushing funeral doom I think.

Ehhhh..... it's really tough to call, and sparked a pretty funny debate in my review of it.
Erik M. - 25.10.2013 at 17:53  
Written by Apothecary on 25.10.2013 at 00:23

Ehhhh..... it's really tough to call, and sparked a pretty funny debate in my review of it.


Wow, what a long discussion.

I enjoyed reading it and obviously don't agree with Merchant of Doom. He is deaf it seems, as he calls Evoken death doom, while in actuality they play funeral death doom. Quietus and The Antithesis of Light are both good examples of funeral death doom, since there is clearly death doom, but also funeral doom in their sound. I only said there's less funeral doom in Atra Mors than in the ones I just mentioned, although I only have listened to that album twice so I'm not 100% sure. It just seemed much less atmospheric than Quietus and The Antithesis of Light and more death doom-oriented to me.
Erik M. - 25.10.2013 at 17:59  
I would also suggest the album Gracefallen by Unholy. Really fits this list I think. Some tracks are death doom (the short tracks mostly), while others are atmospheric doom (the long tracks mostly), so it also has some variety going on. Btw, good to see Dolorian is on here too, although I think I prefer the debut to Voidwards, but I'm not sure as both are excellent.
Apothecary - 25.10.2013 at 18:08  
Written by Erik M. on 25.10.2013 at 17:53

It just seemed much less atmospheric than Quietus and The Antithesis of Light and more death doom-oriented to me.

It is, like I said in the review, it's a lot more inclined towards melody and groove than the harmony and ambience of their previous albums.
Erik M. - 25.10.2013 at 18:12  
Written by Apothecary on 25.10.2013 at 18:08

It is, like I said in the review, it's a lot more inclined towards melody and groove than the harmony and ambience of their previous albums.


And even though I enjoy all those things, it's exactly this that makes me like Quietus and The Antothesis of Light way more. But I could very well change my opinion after multiple spins, so who knows I might disagree with myself in the future. Evoken plays this amazing blend of death doom and funeral doom and the combination is what makes them interesting to me.
Apothecary - 25.10.2013 at 18:12  
Written by Erik M. on 25.10.2013 at 17:59

I would also suggest the album Gracefallen by Unholy. Really fits this list I think. Some tracks are death doom (the short tracks mostly), while others are atmospheric doom (the long tracks mostly), so it also has some variety going on. Btw, good to see Dolorian is on here too, although I think I prefer the debut to Voidwards, but I'm not sure as both are excellent.

I'll give that a look when I get the chance. When All The Laughter Has Gone is honestly just as good if not better than Voidwards, I just chose the latter because if you've noticed I'm kinda trying to keep the releases on here confined within the past decade, that's when this whole "weird Finnish metal" vibe has really been coming to be more noticeable in my opinion. Voidwards came out in 06, the debut back in 99.
Erik M. - 25.10.2013 at 18:15  
Written by Apothecary on 25.10.2013 at 18:12

I'll give that a look when I get the chance. When All The Laughter Has Gone is honestly just as good if not better than Voidwards, I just chose the latter because if you've noticed I'm kinda trying to keep the releases on here confined within the past decade, that's when this whole "weird Finnish metal" vibe has really been coming to be more noticeable in my opinion. Voidwards came out in 06, the debut back in 99.


Oh yeah, my bad. I read that you want to have a "modern" list here, so it's understandable. And don't get me wrong, I like both of those albums about equally, but as of now simply prefer the debut, slightly.
Array - 10.11.2013 at 23:47  
Misantropical Painforest ain't the most usual band.
Apothecary - 11.11.2013 at 00:45  
Written by Array on 10.11.2013 at 23:47

Misantropical Painforest ain't the most usual band.

They certainly don't sound it from the band name. Will definitely check them out
!J.O.O.E.! - 13.12.2013 at 13:26  
I'm intrigued why you think Dolorian are the pioneers of blackened doom when Katatonia got their 6 years before them with Dance of December Souls?
Apothecary - 13.12.2013 at 13:30  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 13.12.2013 at 13:26

I'm intrigued why you think Dolorian are the pioneers of blackened doom when Katatonia got their 6 years before them with Dance of December Souls?

Never really got into Katatonia, but thanks for mentioning that, definitely don't want to be misleading with my genre history. I'll have to give that album a peek, in the meantime maybe I should just say "one of the pioneers of blackened doom"?
!J.O.O.E.! - 13.12.2013 at 13:34  
Written by Apothecary on 13.12.2013 at 13:30

Never really got into Katatonia, but thanks for mentioning that, definitely don't want to be misleading with my genre history. I'll have to give that album a peek, in the meantime maybe I should just say "one of the pioneers of blackened doom"?

I can't really verify it from memory, but saying a 1999 album pioneered blackened doom seems awfully late in metal's history. Feels like there's probably quite a lot before it. There's a few bands on MS that appear to have the black doom tag and were around before Dolorian (here)
Apothecary - 13.12.2013 at 13:37  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 13.12.2013 at 13:34

Written by Apothecary on 13.12.2013 at 13:30

Never really got into Katatonia, but thanks for mentioning that, definitely don't want to be misleading with my genre history. I'll have to give that album a peek, in the meantime maybe I should just say "one of the pioneers of blackened doom"?

I can't really verify it from memory, but saying a 1999 album pioneered blackened doom seems awfully late in metal's history. Feels like there's probably quite a lot before it. There's a few bands on MS that appear to have the black doom tag and were around before Dolorian (here)

Just Nocturnal and Woods Of Belial really, and I think someone already suggested me adding Deimos XIII to this list, which I will when I get some more time set aside for listening.

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